Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Tragedy of King Richard Act 3, Scenes 3 and 4


alright kids, i have to be honest. i am really struggling with this one. i can't quite get into it. there's so many characters, and i'm not attached to any of them but York. the plot isn't very exciting. and i'm not connecting with the words very much. is there anyone out there that loves this play? i would love it if you would share your love with me. help me get it!

act 3, scene 3
Bolingbroke has learned of the goings on of King Richard and the Welsh army. he is pleased by the news, but York warns him to be respectful of his king. Percy arrives with news that King Richard is currently in the castle just ahead. Bolingbroke has Northumberland approach the castle to let Richard know that he comes in peace as long as he is un-banished. Richard appears and is rather snarky about Bolingbroke's presence in his country, as well as his own divine rights as king. (see quote below.) Northumberland swears that Bolingbroke is only there to receive his pardon. Richard grants it to him, but immediately admits to Aumerle (still on Richard's side) that he hates having to do this. he does not want to pardon Bolingbroke. he is only doing it because he will be overpowered if he does not. Northumberland asks King Richard to come down and meet Bolingbroke in the courtyard so they can talk face-to-face. Richard begrudgingly agrees. Bolingbroke kneels to Richard who retorts with, 'up, cousin, up. your heart is up, i know,/thus high at least (reaching for his crown), although your knee be low.' then...???

act 3, scene 4
the Queen is wandering about in York's garden with her lady. she is extremely depressed, and nothing can sway her from it. she sees the gardeners approaching. knowing that they will likely talk about current events, she decides to hide and listen in on their conversation in hopes that she will learn something of her Richard. the gardeners inadvertently reveal to her that Richard was 'seized' by Bolingbroke. the Queen reveals herself and prods them for more information. the gardener is unhappy to have to tell her that all is lost for Richard. the Queen immediately decides to go to him and leaves.

so York is really confusing me. we are told that York is on Bolingbroke's side, but he's not acting like it. he is physically with Bolingbroke, but his allegiance still seems to lie with Richard. what's up with that?

i am really confused about what happens at the end of act 3, scene 3. in the next scene we learn that Richard has succumbed to Bolingbroke. is that what is going on here? it's around line 196 that i get confused. any insight out there? love that zinger from Richard that i included in my little synopsis. so good!

scene 4 is an interesting little thing. Bevington calls this English garden a metaphor for the 'despoiled garden of Eden'. innnnnteresting. what do you think of that?

quote of the day:
'we are amazed; and thus long have we stood
to watch the fearful bending of thy knee,
because we thought ourself thy lawful king.
and if we be, how dare thy joints forget
to pay their awful duty to our presence?
if we be not, show us the hand of God
that hath dismissed us for our stewardship;
for well we know, no hand of blood and bone
can grip the sacred handle of our scepter,
unless he do profane, steal, or usurp.
and though you think that all, as you have done,
have torn their souls by turning them from us,
and we are barren and bereft of friends,
yet know, my master, God omnipotent,
is mustering in his clouds on our behalf
armies of pestilence; and they shall strike
your children yet unborn and unbegot,
that lift your vassal hands against my head
and threat the glory of my precious crown.'
   -King Richard; act 3, scene 3

for tomorrow: act 4

-rebecca may

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